Former Laker champion and ex-New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher was reportedly involved in a frightening car accident early Sunday morning, as reports indicate he flipped his SUV while driving on the 101 Freeway in California.
The 42-year old Fisher and his passenger, reality TV star and girlfriend Gloria Govan, escaped from the accident unhurt. The California Highway Patrol later arrested Fisher under suspicion of drunk driving.
The Los Angeles Daily News detailed the crash, which took place around 3 AM Pacific time:
Fisher was driving in the number four lane, approaching the 405 interchange, when he allowed the vehicle to veer right and onto the paved right shoulder.
The Cadillac continued across the right shoulder and hit the raised concrete curb and wood/metal guardrail, on the shoulder.
The impact caused the vehicle to overturn, and it came to rest on its roof, blocking the three and four lanes of the northbound 101 Freeway.
The Daily News reports that Fisher was arrested “without incident.”
Fisher rose to fame in a backcourt shared with Kobe Bryant, the longtime Laker teammate who was selected alongside Fisher in the 1996 NBA draft. The point guard won three championships with the team in an integral role before moving on to Golden State, Utah, and (with some consternation) back to the Lakers in 2007, just prior to the team’s Finals run.
The point guard would go on to win two more titles, five in total, before retiring in 2014 just prior to taking over as head coach of the New York Knicks. Fisher only took the job after Steve Kerr turned Jackson and New York down, though, and Jackson’s muddled rebuilding project left Fisher with a .294 winning percentage and 40-96 record prior to his midseason firing in 2015-16.
Fisher did not help himself when, on semi-leave away from Knicks preseason training camp in 2015, he was part of a domestic incident involving Govan’s former husband, ex-Laker teammate and current Golden State Warrior Matt Barnes. The journeyman, no stranger to heated engagements himself, reportedly stormed his old house in a ham-fisted attempt to wrest his children away from what Barnes saw as an unsettled situation at his former house.
It was that unseemly mark, combined with his unimpressive showing with the unimpressive Knicks, that drove many to feel as if Fisher dove right into the coaching ranks too soon after finishing his 18-year playing career in 2014. He has since worked as a studio analyst for NBA TV, remaining in the spotlight despite his longest stretch spent officially away from the NBA in over two decades.
Earlier in 2017 robbers allegedly relieved Fisher of his five NBA championship rings, in a burglary at his Los Angeles house.
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